Yankees could make surprise infield move with DJ LeMahieu

yankees, dj lemahieu

The New York Yankees have been and will continue to be connected to some of the biggest free-agent players on the market, ranging from Carlos Correa to Trevor Story. However, general manager Brian Cashman is still looking for a solution at first base, and with Luke Voit suffering through injuries during the 2021 season, a new starter could be on the horizon.

It is entirely possible Cashman looks to bring back Anthony Rizzo on an extension. Rizzo was traded from the Chicago Cubs to New York at the deadline, featuring in 49 games with the Bombers. During that sample size, Rizzo hit .249 with eight homers and 21 RBIs.

The former Gold Glove winner would undoubtedly be a consistent option both offensively and defensively if offered a long-term contract, but the Yankees also have their eyes set on Freddie Freeman, who is looking for a deal upwards of five years. If Freeman, in fact, makes a move to an alternative club, the Yankees represent a solid landing spot.

This past year, he won a World Series with the Braves, hitting .300 with 31 homers and 83 RBIs. Freeman ranked 9th in MVP voting and would undoubtedly be an awesome power threat as a lefty in Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees could take a cheaper route to solve first base:

Nonetheless, based on Cashman’s quiet approach before the lockout, it is possible he looks to save a bit of cash and utilize talent already on the roster to solve first base. In that scenario, he may ask DJ LeMahieu to move there full-time, signing a shortstop and moving Gleyber Torres to second base permanently.

The team would hate to move on from Torres after a few down seasons at shortstop, so maintaining confidence in him may be viewed as ideal. Nonetheless, LeMahieu making the full-time move to first isn’t out of the picture but would surely be surprising. This past season, he experienced a bit of natural regression after an incredible 2020 season. He batted .268 with 10 homers and 57 RBIs, featuring in 150 games. At 1B, he logged a .997 fielding percentage with just one error.

At the end of the day, DJ is one of those players who can move around the infield seamlessly and see a minimal drop-off in quality. It ultimately comes down to whether Cashman still has faith in Torres and wants to make him a long-term solution at second base rather than spending big on a first base solution and trading away their homegrown talent in a prospective deal.

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